Adobe has recently release the long overdue upgrade of Lightroom.
In 2015, the company has “split” the product in two branches, the subscription one “Lightroom CC” and the perpetual license “Lightroom 6”. In practice the same product, just that the CC would allow you to sign in and share collections with mobile devices and “Lightroom Web”. With this branching came the promise that Lightroom perpetual license would not be a dead end.
In this period the mobile version of Lightroom has been largely developed, though it was never a real use case for me, apart from the eventual culling on the road.
Now we have a new version and a huge mess with naming. First, Lightroom perpetual license died! They did the last update to Lightroom 6 a couple of weeks ago and it’s over. The Lightroom CC (the good old Lightroom in subscription mode) was renamed to Lightroom Classic CC (What?? Classic?? The state of the art photographic processing software now sounds like a vintage product? YES!) and now Lightroom CC refers to a new version of Lightroom that stores your data in the cloud! Yes! A big naming mess!!!
If you had Lightroom CC and was happy with it, just upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC and keep being happy (do they say). It has new tools and is supposed to be way faster than the previous version, even though I haven’t hear a word about them moving away from SQLite2, the main source of slowness.
The new Lightroom CC is a product of it’s own. Comes in a separate subscription model that gives you 1TB of cloud storage. Your data stays in the cloud, your processing stays in your hardware (I would love to have the opposite) and you can access your data from multiple devices, desktop or mobile. The tool, from what I read is quite limited, but a product that just started its evolution. It doesn’t fit my workflow. I have more than 1TB of data and need the advanced tools of Lightroom, not the basic set currently offered. otherwise I would just use one of the current open-source options in the market.
You can test Lightroom CC with your normal Adobe subscription with a 20GB storage, but be aware that you’re discouraged to have both versions installed and effects might be unpredictable.
The upgrade process is simple. Your Creative Cloud app will offer you all the options. Basically upgrade your Photoshop CC and install Lightroom Classic CC. You’ll also be offered to upgrade your old Lightroom CC, in case you didn’t, and to install the new Lightroom CC … you see the mess this can cause. Before doing it, don’t forget to backup all your catalogues.
This change in business model already made several colleagues change their minds and their software. Some went to McPhun (also renamed to something terrible), some are trying open-source software.
As soon as you open the new Lightroom Classic CC, it will ask you to upgrade the catalog. Do it for each catalog you have, which can be a long process. It will rename your catalog adding a “2” at the end, which you can’t avoid or choose. You have change it by hand later (including renaming the previews directories), another long process.
I just recent upgraded my Lightroom, so I’ll talk about the performance changes and new tools in a later occasion.